Sunday, December 26, 2010

No holiday

A solemn year, full of experience
walks shyly into disappearance.
This is an escape it stages every calendar.
It knows to the heart, that it'll be back.
Nothing like a holiday for it.
Time and again, it has to be a witness
Albeit the one who doesn't blink.
It never seems to be bored.
Moves on like a passer-by.
Its passage is marked in a life-size atlas
and the memories tied around it
are always for safe-keeping.
While it only sheds such foliage.
Neither a shoulder it offers
to the people committing more to life
nor a sigh it whispers, to the ones
inching closer to a good-bye.
It is deeply callous to our feelings.
Had it been a human
it would be in trouble
in various courts of justice.
All ye beings
it's coming again.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


OK now.
It's 12 alright.
Everyone, where's the cake?
Let's take its photo first.
Candles, one, two, three
Can't put twenty one.
Not enough girth.
Guys, you need not do this.
No no, it's for our pleasure.
That's fine. Light them now.
We are, one-two-three..fourteen
Someone is missing.
Blow, blow. A bit harder.
Yes, now, that's good.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Distant landscape

Best friend.
Even the word
belongs to a different time.
Prehistoric, animistic times
of a personal civilization.
Sifting through
the school albums in mind
I add flesh to the hollow cheeks
and bones to the balloons.
Though well connected I am
with all the gadgetry
I still lose out on some of them.
The guy who had lot of money.
The absolute failure in all classes.
The Prometheus who whispered
how children are born.
A secret he stole from the creator.
The one who had generous parents.
The one who talked a lot of pulp.
There is always, the one
who followed a girl.
The one who thought that romance
was smiling silently in a crowded bus.
There is that someone, who always felt
really out of place, so much so that
he never left to venture out.
The autistic one whom I might've made fun of.
The one who just visited during the exams
Who could move only his hands due to a spinal snag.
These and the other ones, the ones known
The ones who are vocal beyond the usual clamor
will have found their best friends.
And lost them too, to the world
so that there's an alcove
on whose window sill sitting
one can admire a landscape, that was childhood.

As if in ambition

The Past
trips and tumbles down
into a dry valley of forgetfulness.
Years beyond a certain date
wrap around and dissolve into a moment.
The little traumas lose color
and the times spent in bad taste
are touched up with golden dust.
The grip on entirety loosens up
and the winding ways of life
take their course, beyond the bend.
Not all is lost for me to be quixotic.
There are persistent memories
scaling up the heights of amnesia
to accost me in surprise and
remind me of a common spindle
from which we drew
the thread of our time.
It just spins now, emptily
like the void of a universe
that has moved on.
Spread around, as if in ambition.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Depression over Bay of Bengal

With one hand I sip tea
and the other one waves.
Sees eye to eye
a muse drenched in poetry.
Then we talk, leaning
towards each other.
And in the rainy chatter that ensues
there is a mention of sadness.
A drifting cloud, with disheveled hair
passes by our table as gloom.
Sorrows form a sludge: dark and distressing
and snakes go about, guarding
the hidden routes to happiness.
I brush off all this aside.
This regular depression talk.
There is no point in recounting
darker side in darkness.
There is light in the eyes I say
Light of yesterday, it might be.
But has its reflection on today.
I plead the tenacious one to look at
the incidents gone unrecorded.
There is happiness in motes
like the burning stars in an endless dark.
All this yapping I offer
to a sadness that has
a lot of catching up to do.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Face

Is there an escape
for my fears of this world?
Every day and every moment
There is extinction in this world
Then, why wouldn't it apply to them?
There is a frantic knock
on the doors of my imagination
and I flutter in the ensuing wind
cutting across coldly
and burning my heart out.
I know I can't blame anyone else
I don't even have a phantom face.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Nonsense makes a weird sense.
Everywhere, across the universe
the sensible floats in a sea of nonsense.
Waves lash out and the storms
twisting their strong arms
look out for preys to crush.
Sense would not creep up
into a grandmother's story
without the world being the opposite
and scaring the children by twilight.
We don't understand
the nonsensical wars
and a lull, that is peace.
What sense do we make of our argument
to that leaning ear ?
It is difficult to measure and agree
that our experiment of understanding
is repeatable. When there is a smile
of approval or a smirk of satire,
there is only an inkling of non-sense
showing its viral side.
As puppets on display, we float
hanging in the air by invisible threads
shining, smiling and forming a story.
And yet there are a thousand reservations
on others' theory of life.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Heels all over

After some page in the calender
There is nothing better you can do
than fall in love.
Your head over her heels
And her heels all over your head.
It is an amazing feeling, of course.
Mind you, all this should happen
with an unclear beginning
and with no ends in sight.
You then go on.
May be a break-up or two
but stick you should
to someone for a fall-back.
And when it is too late
there is no escape
but for the rest of the journey.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Three steps

It's raining outside
and we are jostling for space
on the three steps of the doorway.
Taj Mahal, the tea, boils wantonly
with an aroma wafting to encircle us.
No one wishes to give up their place
Neither us kids nor the grownups.
Even the rain, yielding no room
splatters onto the muddy road.
Little rivers gurgle along downwards.
The paper boats sailed only too carefully
spread out like rafts in the stream.
Twigs and leaves, are stuck like our gaze
in a whirlpool of water.
Wind turns the tables now and then
and grabs us by surprise.
There are peels of laughter.
One with the other
and one within another.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


They make noise all the time.
Babble to Apple, and grappling to a fable.
You can't keep them glued to something.
They wear different shoes.
Slip across ages, don new hats
and tip them off to giants
marching-by with their muses.
At the restaurants, they wait to be mouthed.
Wait across tables for existence.
They attend to theories at a conference
often dozing off into nonsense.
Nothing is sacrilege to them.
They get to the greatest feeling
thought to be beyond their reach.
They pry open the past and draw out
the surviving crumbs of meaning.
Breaking boundaries is a chore.
They form the messages on glass ceilings.
Whether there is hope or not, they are there.
Desert roses blooming for the slightest dew.
They engulf this world and may be other ones too.
Happiness and sadness, are their anointed favorites.
And they are meant even in their absence.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


After much else, I draw them
and it indeed gets difficult
as I feed in more on this world.
Full of possible opposites.
Take them or break them
They are a welcoming door mat
to further doubt.
To suspect the universe
to be upto something different
is without let down.
There are voices
behind the world's stage.
Voices - cynical, optimistic,
forgiving, avenging, angry,
immature, amateur, know-it-all,
silent, without hope, spectating-
forming the collage of experience.
Words and sounds
written down in silence
and gotten over without pomp
seem to possess life span
beyond the covers of our moral notebooks.
What meaning they wear and to
what voice they will move their lips
the audience awaits in a full house.
A tragedy too is an action
of these words, one upon the other.
Raising, over-powering and muting.
Very often the garbs get misplaced
or picked up cleverly, drawing
the audience into a confusion
when everything blends
into a spectrum of dizziness
even to a discerning eye.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A lonely station

There is a putrid smell
from the locked toilet.
The walls spell in charcoal
the names of people
who were once in love.
Someone walks in silence
hastily beyond the signs
ticking time with a clip-clop gait.
They seem moving on
as part of different pairs.
There is a staged performance
of a new set of eyes
trying out their luck.
For a moment, all this seems eternal
like the wait for a scheduled train.
But, far away, like conscience
there is a man sleeping on the bench.
Inebriation or death
it's difficult to judge.
His jugular is hidden
in the pillow of a folded arm.
To my relief, I can imagine
his blood shot eyes
dreaming about a lost love.
A safe world for me.A world
where things could still fail.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shadow of doubt

In the vicinity of an experience
always lies, a shadow of doubt.
Hanging on to the coat tails
it will pull us down and mock
all that has happened
and is happening.

Not the friendly image
that appears in cinematic mirrors
guiding us to greater deeds.
This will only betray and
belittle whatever is dear.

As we march towards extinction
Putting on those best clothes
Falling in love with what is beautiful
Sending the chummy, Churchill-like
little children to school.
It is always present.
Like the emptiness after the chores.

We would want to dispel it
Dissolve it in the loud music
But it survives along with us
but only in smiles.
It forces us to rethink the purpose
and make peace with God.

But again, it shows up
like a recurring dream.
And adds a lingering taste
to the blandness of existence.
An eternally arguable one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Scanning in progress

Falling in love
is slowly turning
into a logistical nightmare.
The lists that I draw up
are growing invalid by the day.
People with whom I associated
only remoteness, are noticeable now
because of all this ballyhoo of love.
Terrible people, ten years ago
are approachable and shady people
from the five year past, seem saviors.
May be there is an age
when every generation
is ostracized from its times.
That it comes in this form is a surprise.
I should confess, I slept like a log
through the gestation period of love.
There are growth rings around my eyes
marking my hibernation.
I missed all the stalking in the dusk
Talking in the dark
Huddling around candle lights
Walking in the rain
and dimming the lights.
I know in parts
and I can imagine the rest
what people have been up to
during my slumber.
There is no vengeance here
Only a case of genuine surprise.
I promise to myself
I will be more vigilant
and search for the lost signal
like a radar, for an emergency landing.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Hero

The birth of a hero
is much awaited like his demise.
In movies, he pretends to die
with all the cheese popcorn and coke.
In reality he will come back
to haunt us in memorabilia.
Epitaphs and obituaries for him
end only in a comma,
New qualities are added to the cart
everyday and the hero is reinvented.
For lesser known ones
who give up life too easily,
(They take only their's)
we have only amnesia to offer.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

It can only be fine

Mistakes are a thousand eyes that we possess.
They do not wait for any instructions.
Some of them strain to look at us
Many are blatant with their eye contact
and few just look away at other's
and exchange pleasantries
as to when and how they happened.
We move on and make progress
The thumbs of success are cut off and worn
as garland around the necks.
Mistakes follow us as closely as shadows
Only a careful askance could detect them.
Only in certain lights. May be only Mr.Holmes.
We reel under their pressure
Always present by the side, like mortality.
Hanging onto us like a mobile saline
pierced into the skin and taking up space
drop by drop.
There is a jigsaw that we are part of
Past and future seem misfit to each other
and wait only for a custom made present.
There is nothing better than what
the shades of our mistakes define.
Using them, our portrayal can only be fine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I snuck a peek at Uncle Sam's low necked daughter
sitting like Monalisa at the visa counter—
Mumbai, off the Arabian coast—
She wore in her neck
what I could only place as
the Renaissance regalia.
She was very chirpy
behind the bullet proofed glass wall.
Beyond the arabesque interiors
were the stenographers and CIA agents.
Panting about and discussing my entry
into the promised land.
I adjusted my non-existent tie
and looked closely in her eye.
I found only love, uninterrupted love.
Such love, that the breakup she offered—
A well printed, stamped and attested pink slip
A set of questions about my allegiance to world peace—
didn't mean much to me.
I walked about as if
I was chosen to go to Mars.

Only later the gloom closed in on me.
A month later, like a delayed monsoon.
I would make repeated calls to my soul
which migrated without any visa.
Friends across the seas
would make those long distance calls
before realizing nothing could be worked out
because of all the accumulated distance.
The emptiness they created for me
in their apartment, wouldn't pay the rent.
Then one day, the calls stopped.
Nothing would get them back
till the so called storm ebbed.
Meanwhile, I watched TV
and my beard grew like the
length of a daily serial.

I became oblivious to the material pursuits
and indulged in mechanical worship of God.
Nothing mattered to me
The Iraqi toll or the Afghan deaths.
My home slowly transformed into
a detention centre and parents
the conventional clinical psychologists
To pass the time, I jotted down some poetry
meaningless scribble and people awed
to cheer me up —"Poor fellow, let me throw a smile." —
I confess, I wrote nothing against Uncle Sam
or his sons or daughters.
My fear that the Japanese made TV
would be bugged to spy on me.

Then, he appeared, the Hermes
of this little Greek tragedy.
Searching for my home frantically
he delivered the missive from Uncle.
And it read

"Found to be alien
Not to set foot here
Deep space mission in two years
Be ready for the lift off"

(Courtesy: Seinfeld, George Orwell, US Consulates : Chennai, Mumbai)

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Amidst the rugged growth it stands wide-eyed
Its quivering muzzle holds an unformed voice.
The pearly eyes scan the path for any danger
and the ears strain for the slightest sound.
Now it grazes and now it looks
Trusting no one it is always on the run.
There is wild croaking of frogs
Amphibians desperate for mating.
This doesn't drown the predator's signature.
I walk past the deer looking up at me
and listening intently to the rustled leaves.
A few steps further, in uneven shadows
there are dogs huddled in a circle.
Their bellies swollen from hunger
they seem ready for an attack.
Only silence reigns in these woods
an ecosystem of noisy life.
Like a nightmare that's routine
the chase is never recorded.
Later, and only later, I would be pulled up
in my dream where I reach a Cul-de-sac.
There is nowhere I could go.
I only pound hard at the dreamy wall
and it dissolves into next day's worries.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Did I mention, you are faceless?
You could hold against this denial
a life, full of achievements .
Scrapbooks you maintained as a kid.
Report cards, best student certificates.
The prizes won for quizzes and elocution
Backstage choir and fancy dressing
Neat attire and polite behavior.
Group photographs, greeting cards
Both new years and birthdays
Positivity of triumphs, gravity of failures
Lightheartedness of the heydays
Sweaty palms of anxieties.
Nothing saves you from being stereotyped.
All that was dreamt of becoming, boils down
to this nightmare of loss.
A dissolution of identities
in the face of silly existential queries.
The world that you live in
is a narrow crack in a cliff of questions.
In that fissure there is only a shelter and
a struggle not to fall off the edge.
Of course, it doesn't stop raining outside.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Penis for Sale

Really Good one.
Well educated.
Does consulting.
Tall and handsome.
Seeking: Understanding girl.
Smoking: No
Drinking: No
Holds a million dollars in bonds.
Another half a million in properties.

(Note: Nothing against Consulting here)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blind spot

The squint-eyed rain god
has something amiss
in his panoramic vision of the world.
That is the place, a blind spot, where
A blade of grass wouldn't be green
Weeds creep up the food chain in no hope
gather ground and the elderly
with thick heavy glasses, wait for the postman.
The fields are barren
guarded by the howling winds
Shouting, like the angry psychedelic
dancing before a cornered deity.
The dry air moves in small painful circles
Gasping for breath, hanging its tongues out
in the dried up canals.
Their stories, I wouldn't want to know
How the house gave in to disrepair
and how they ended up cooking outside
struggling to protect the staple
from the husky dust
that arduously finds its way
to be under my teeth.
Even in a drench of feelings
there is a barren image that flashes
An image of the void
Of not present.
Of no future.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekend rituals

The little screens of our mobiles
light up like the faces of children
Calling us for the weekend rituals.
Breakfast in the sun.
Lunch under the cool breeze of AC
and Dinners on the roof top.
We dress up tiptop.
Check the lock twice as advised
by the protective mothers.
And we are out.
Pick the place. Make reservations.
Choose a better view for everyone.
Our differences are a boon here.
Only few of us are on the look out
That day, that particular place.
We keep the loot of the day aside,
reminding ourselves
to collect the worth by the end.
And our conversations cook
on a slow fire, rotating lazily
like the queued chicken.
For the starters, there is a warm up
of our memories
and by main course, we are deep
into some grown up problems.
Life being life
upturns us in different ways
and each finds its way to this table.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting ready

I can't quite place it
But there is something in the air
May be the elusive optimism?
whatever it is, hiding from me is unfair.
Can't locate the place it happened
But it's happening where ever I go
I don't turn any head except mine
But there is some spotlight on the go.
Is age secretly catching up with me?
I put my foot down heavily these days
As if preparing for the rest of the journey
I am going the foolhardy ways.
The rest of the world
is appearing to be nonsense
Unless I am in love
this shouldn't make any sense.
I am telling you
There is something happening here
From being that droopy bozo
I am filled with more mojo.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The other end

He thinks about the past
pacing about in the winter clothing
walking from the farthest end of his life.
He goes back and forth
seeing himself in variety of clothes
Sweaters, mufflers and caps
hugging his cranium for life.
He was fond of the warmth in winter.
Not just with the attire.
People snuggled closer, offering
something or the other as talk.
He would take the mufflers
out of the almirah
wrap around in a snaky fashion.
He could do many designs
drawing smiles all across the room.
They were children then.
Jealousy grew faster and often erupted
into fights about the best sweater.
The blood red Christmas stars were hung
in the porches of the believers.
They waited eagerly for the New year
when the silent passage of time.
was drawn in colored lime.

All ye men!

Their fates are Siamese twins
They can't escape each other
Their breakup needs surgical precision
Some can afford the risk.
Others tend to believe in after life.
There is a gleaming white light
when one meets the other.
It blinds them into love.
Now that they have fallen there
they search around
for other blind spots.
You are going straight
to your hazy destination.
You make the right wrong turn and
what you see thumps your heart.
Once they are together they want to be alone
Till then they are the most social of the sty.
Now and only now, they need a spot
To kiss under the moon looking at the sky.
They draw the modern impressionist paintings
the next day in the class. What is with them?
All ye men, do you get these soul mates?
By the way, where do you get these sour grapes?

The tip of the iceberg

The tip of my mind--
A solid block floating aimlessly
has remained the same since my school.
I have accumulated all the ice
in some other direction.
I sat through many self-help sessions
without taking my mind out of cold storage
Mending me was in vain.
What would some one do to an iceberg?

Titans with their Titanic tricks
have crashed into me
only to wreck havoc.
The water level rose.
Rose with time like the city buildings
l am above all of it
floating in the sea of stupidity
Eternally, untiringly and
holding high all that is me.
A humble representation
of the frozen inside.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


When there were no wings
I intended to fly.
That was an end of my childishness.
An early form of escapism.
Only stars filled my dreams then
there was place for myself
and my family, for the sake of completeness.
Like all sleepy children I dreamt
One day I would establish the contact
going really fast in a space plane
and may even have a chat with the master
about the goings on in his aquarium.

My dreams are only claustrophobic now
They seem to ground me right when I have
the strongest reasons to take off.
There is too much logic in me, in this world.
And I am eternally taxiing.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Only in writing

Happiness doesn't increase
nor the potency of sadness ebbs
by one writing away methodically
in an origami of expression.
Though written about
the flowers wilt.
Written otherwise
the situations tilt.
Memories, monuments protected
closer to your heart
slip away, as if shunning
this constant puncture of blankness.
You own them for a while
Soon they disown you.
Lose you in a busy market place
bade you good bye, in a variety of ways.
You catch some through writing
store them in a smoke jar for future.
They plead for an escape.
Their deliverance is never satisfactory.
Only in writing you promise them
anything and everything.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chickening out

Nothing changes between them.
The man and God.
The Chicken and Egg story.
Sitting in circles
Going in circles
in an endless pursuit.
Too far into the creation now
neither can look back and say
they could have done it better.
Whatever was done, is done.
So be it. Both would storm out of
their rooms for fresh air
Tired of it all
Creating each other, finding fault
Perfecting, filling in the cracks
Going hay way into non-believing, and later
generations coming back, disbelieving.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dinner plans

After gazing for hours at the stars
atop the terrace of a village home
I used to go back to sleep
To the narrowness of life.
Years later, I visit the sea
Excitedly pick up a handful of sand
and walk a while along the coastline.
Waiting for the Sun rise, I would spend
some anxious moments for a cosmic routine.
Children building castles
threw sand in the air.
Who didn't shed few tears then?
Naming the forts they built
under the rising sun, they were ever ready
for the breakfast call.
Easily, they wipe their hands off
this experience, never realising
how important it is.
Though I now know the importance
Nothing much I can do about it.
Other than walking briskly towards home
With only dinner plans in mind.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Few of them are made in heaven
The rest roll out of hell
"Nothing unusual in that"
Socrates would have dismissed
a young Plato's question.
Leave the philosophers out
A layman still stands confounded.
It takes a life time to make it work
Something wrong easily draws frowns
Rumours bite people's ears.
There are enough forbidden fruits, snakes
and ladders, for two to be occupied.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Tomatoes are almost over
We have Onions though
Rice will be enough
Not so sure about wheat
No school.Thank God.
Could wake up late.
But, the night patrol doesn't let me sleep.

Might have to go to a farther shop tomorrow
The regular one had a burning tyre near it today
Stones were strewn all across the way
Like safe passages in chaotic traffic
slogans were painted in Yellow
towards the end of the road.
No, beyond that I can't go.
There are tar drums standing guard
with a heap of stones by the side.
I couldn't see anyone there
like on the TV. It was deserted.
May be the camera is looking somewhere else.
No, beyond that I can't go.

Tell you what
I had a quick look at the queue near the ATM
It wore a sorry look on the screen.
There might be some change left
but is helpless to dispense it.
Another day and we have to stand in that line.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Believing pushes one to not seeing
Other things of course
even if seen
are brushed aside as rumors.
Say, there is a humanitarian crisis
that is not shown on TV.
There is a nagging question
about the marketability of this fact.
Beliefs, like photo frames hold a picture
exposing only the central theme
The fringes are sealed for dust.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Textbook Case of Love

In the dusty corners of an ancient textbook
there are these signs of love.
Hearts, swans and arrows
brought out by an invisible cupid.
Hearts, drawn in ink and arrows in pencil
by two of us in a by-gone conversation.
There are holes in some hearts of the inner pages
with traces of Tic-tac-toe within, ending in a draw.
On some pages, swans fill the margins
with their elongated necks like a cursive S.
Their beaks seem darkened and their eyes
emotive with anger, amusement
fear and boredom: all teenage versions.
There are codes for "I love you"
formed by complex rules using the printed alphabet.
Blots of ink, appear here and there
thinning the paper with
the eclipsing frustration of mid term holidays.
Very rarely, the hearts appear in Red
proclaiming a stronger, dangerous and a bloody love.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

In the mood of leaving

When everybody is in the mood of leaving
things change for good
Hardest of the rocks melt
Farthest of friendships reconcile
Greatest of the enmities stand suspended
An unwritten rule of
general bonhomie is allowed.
We leave happy images of each other
A couple of us even move to tears
weeping over others' shoulders.
That day, there is much compassion in the world
Many tears and shoulders from then
Who would remember what?
Strangely, these tears
oil the machine of forgetfulness.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I create my thoughts
on a gaping blankness.
Beyond all this noise
I listen intently
to the Crickety wilderness.
I sift through
the jet black darkness, housing
half eroded mounds
of buried ideas.
All this, under
the bright lights of today
reflecting on yesterday.
Puncturing this silence
I see a rare bird aflutter.
The elusive Myna of Poesy.
I take note, the setting is archaic.
But I see a fresh human trail
A small streak of blankness
through this thicket.
I walk further on this direction-less path
going nowhere and everywhere.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Human Cage

We are a cage
A skeleton to be filled with
the muscle of imagination.
According to it, at the end of the day
everything could mean nothing to us.
The worst questions that arise
in its bloody ridges, would often find
peaceful answers by the dusk of that moment.
We have parroted karmic insolence for generations
to say that the bottom line is a blank one and
we will not attempt to find any answer to that.
We ask safe questions about numbing abstractions
as if we are seeking palliatives in them
punctuating our thinking with hemorrhages.
We shadow ourselves in the cosmos
hiding behind "It doesn't matter anyway"
but in this cage, where the sap still runs
through the marrow, there is a flow
of thought and time, and an ability
to exercise our muscle, beyond damnation.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Swan Song of the Sparrow

Next to the Crows
Sparrows were the most urban birds.
They with the easy brown color
suited well for the concrete scape.
They chirped a bit in the morning
and then people left for office.
Busy collecting food and shelter
they made their appearance
in the evening again.
Once in a while, an untrained sparrow
lost its way and we played with it
and left it outside by dusk.
There were cats in the neighborhood.
We weren't worried though.
The mother would pick up its children, we thought.
That's what happened at school.
Extinction was out of question.

Monday, June 7, 2010


The rain drops on the window
slowly trickle down like tears.
There isn't an image I haven't seen
on this route,but things appear strange today.
I am passing by these roads in a rush
as if to escape responsibility.
Disjoint thoughts ring in my mind
A synesthetic anaesthesia suffuses it.
I have images in an ill-formed mirror
I can still see the outer world
but with a superimposing aberration.
There are only questions about life there.
Outside, in that struggle for attention.
I notice not the big bill boards and neon signs
but small keepers of flowers and fruits, waiting
for buyers from unexpected directions.
The wind is blowing hard now
The rain has ripples in its stream
There are two worlds.
Inside and outside the shelter.
I head towards my other journey.
There is a splattering knock on the window
Asking all sorts of questions
wrapped, in the warm texture of the moment.

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Mosquito

Its place was frozen
in the foot note of history textbook
Passed on from generation to generation.
Sometimes, hiding between the tough stitches
it was not conspicuous.
Repeated bindings called for
trimming the dog ears of these books.
Like the characters in the margins
it got chopped under a mini-guillotine.
Only occasionally it disappeared like a
beautiful lady in Jehangir's harem.
However, for most of us
it was an accomplice
in our assault on history
during the power cut preparation.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


To almost worthy parsons
he married off eight of his daughters
Ten by birth, two died within childhood.
Of the two sons he had, one died in an accident.
The other one tills occasionally, the empty fields.
His wife too has followed, before
couple of grandsons falling prey to the snake
The old man himself, survived all this life
like the scaly bark of a century old tree.
His siblings too gone
he is left alone, on the shore.
Life, for him slowly turned
into a logistical liability
And the air in the house is filled
with an untold wait for death.

Friday, May 28, 2010


We are stuck with the truth
Let's get on with the facts then
The places we visited
The ones we would like to
Common loves, uncommon hates
Trusted betrayals, ungained faiths
Next door neighbours
Their pretty daughters
Political thoughts, human rights
Veganism and war
Flesh eating in peace
Scary stories
Anecdotes of heroism
Enumeration of good deeds
Excuses for why we shouldn't be dead
The coma of traffic outside
People staring through the shades
Menu card looking at us in expectation
and our squinty hunt for the prices.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Hanging Up

Empty streets and yellow lights
All we got are these empty nights
Barking dogs and the summer blooms
We don't care if the darkness looms

Going there towards the bend of the road
We don't worry about the truck overload
Movin' in and movin' out
Nothin' like a shadow of doubt

The choices that made us, hang up now
Nothing of a chance, and any know how
Prancing about in the rickety ways
We finally catch onto our pace

Darkness looms
amid the summer blooms
empty streets and mellowed nights
and then they approach
those blazing lights.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Three Years

How years seem longer now
They are not simple hopping of grades
and section names writen in Roman
on the labels of new books every year.
The cartoons, cars and pinkish flowers
came to be aging along with me then.
Eventually I was dissappointed
by their new avatars the next year.
Now years distend enough and give room
for lot of events making up life.
They carry with them, images of myself
in moments of varied contrasts.

I pounded coffee tables under rushing adrenalin
Learnt allusive ways to discuss sex
Formed opinions, hardened them
Became brittle, broke eventually
Tried flexibility and the associated confusion
Went to dim lit dinners in dandiest clothes
Which looking back, only a gypsy could sport.
Discussed the arbitrariness of life.
Looked back on earlier times and patted my back
that I finally grew out of myself.
Played dumb charades with my words.
Posed cryptic questions on canteen tables.
Discounted people of their years of opinions.
Got thrashed by them as my views broke like eggs.
Experienced the heaviness in heart, body and mind.
Made friends, not regretting losing others.
I read, Masters and Slaves
Of Poetry and Prose : Flying pamphlets of suffering.
I unwrapped more of the candy of life
and yes, I found poetry.
Not an eternal fount or
a Scandinavian secret spring
But a faucet of cold water
drenching me in the summer afternoon
To which destiny or its chambermaids
escorted me, after three years of merry go round.

(On May 12, 2010 this blog turns three)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Main Course

The city has a stark look of concrete calm
as if struck by an epidemic.
In the middle of the road
unrustled leaves walk, like yet to be victims.
We head towards a restaurant
beyond that red-green-red blinking sign.
It is a setting out of the folk movies.
Caves and roots of trees hang around you.
Waiters, whose noses cast
a weird shadow on their faces
give an eerie look, unlisted in the menu.
We order starters and sit back to talk
while we hear faint wailing
amidst a constant thud of butchering.
We are shaken off our seats to our soups
and gobble as much as we can at that temperature.
We don't want starters here.
We cancel that order.
"Main course menu is different", the waiter says
as he carries a finger bowl, filled with
a red liquid soap to the next table.
He is smiling to himself.
Some one among us starts off the conversation
about our further choices, as we wait for the menu
tapping our fingers and listening
to each and every sound.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Time Machine

Tonight, an inky darkness surrounds me
with a spell of anguish
from years of those unread letters.
The mite of time has left
only shreds of bundled joys
in the corner of an overfilled carton.
I extract those letters now, for our meeting.
Like an atlas of our childhood
I would like those letters
to take us places without any blur.
When we finally meet
we can start off, from where we left
at that bus stop and seamlessly tie
all these years into a knot of forgetfulness.

In our new found paper time machine
an ancient conversation could be dug up
and we could have a hearty laugh
at the tiresomeness of each other's lives.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Odd Visitor

People can't stand her sight.
With a groovy face and a flappy skin
propped up by a thin frame-like curtain of life
she walks the streets at odd times.
Dusty myths gather around her existence.
Journeys start over
when someone spots her in sight.
They rush inside, to avoid
all ill luck in their path.
No chances are taken.
Like an innocent child from bad influences
she is kept away, from anything living.
Her identities dissolve, one by one
like her bones
and she grows backwards, into nothing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bride Grooming

Look at them
They are made for each other
they groom when they meet
She cleans his glasses
Checks his nails
He holds her hand
to be sure of a normal pulse.
Counts the number of protruding veins
Arranges a lock of hair
and then orders coffee.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Everybody is welcome
in this haunted house
Excuse me! Don't go that side
Those windows are cobwebbed
to cover her from the outside world
Yes, you heard it right
Even the slightest voices echo here
Take care to not drop that pin.
This used to be the waiting house
for her, the Nawab's mistress.
It is a disputed mansion now
between the local don
and a distant relative.
The judges keep changing
Fresh ones are searched
and put up like the stave
of Gandhi's statue
every Independence day.
She wears a worn out look now
with dark circles under her eyes.
Her eye lids flap in agony
as thunder strikes at her heart
in the pre-monsoon wind.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Noisy classroom

History stinks under its bridges
There are flushed lives all along
with blood floating on water
in a grotesque design of plankton.
There is a squabble between
highs and lows that define us
about what to remember and
what not to, of our lilliputan efforts
on a drifting cosmic body in slumber.
We are home
We are alone
Whispering to each other
the answers to our existence
While there are more questions
shot back with fists
in this noisy classroom.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The back of the stage
is filled with discarded lines
and out of context extras
There are expectant smiles from the similies
Not too evident, not too unnoticeable
Not too desperate but not without intent.
I traverse this forest of nymphs
and from among the broken
Greek harps and Roman arches
Indus scripts and Nefertiti backdrops
I choose angelic cliches
with detachable wings.

Friday, March 19, 2010

On the last bus to infinity

I draw my story with a kiddish crayon
on the walls of night
and narrate it to the shadows as I journey
on the last bus to infinity.
I look up to the horizon
at the lights that sparkle
like stars of the milky band
and wonder if there is a world
away from mine, the one
where all the fables are true
and whom darkness is now kissing good bye.
I am heading forlornly, at a higher speed
as if the engines of time recognized
the emergency of my thoughts
circumventing all the hurdles.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tabula rasa

I am reading something strange today
I am reading from my memories
There is an obvious writing on the wall
to which I am oblivious to
as I drift with these winds of time.
A table with four friends
comes to my mind.
The chairs around, are thrown haphazard
from meetings gone awry
and on that table, we are talking
about a world that was going to crack up
and how, we should do the right thing.
We are plotting our greasy strategies
for successes in life,
while biting into a sandwich from both ends
and with sauce dripping like blood.
All the while
there is an eerie watch from an owl
perched on the next table
that lost its youth to these moments.
We defy his night vigil
and continue to gobble up the circumstance
with a squeaky laughter
as dark shadows dance on our faces
and an unsure fate tries to choose.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Chase

Often seen complaining about the creator
I am anxious, if there is a single being
with four or five hands and ten heads
like the meanings and interpretations
from which all this originates.
A very old question, often put forth to an elder
with digested teeth and who has epiphanies
looking into the fire.
I can imagine him conjuring up tales
of battles between good and evil
and putting the tribe to sleep that night.
Like the dark forces in those old tales
the question of existence, time and again,
raises its unrelenting hood.
Since then, Gods have queued up to find answers.
Beliefs make them, to be easily broken in times of need
and we give epic twists to these little violations.
Mere bathroom breaks in a game of continuous chase.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On Time

Past, the eerie cave I wriggled out of, shows up
in my distancing rant over the coffee table;
A stage I take by storm and act drunk.
My colleagues are equally prepared.
Always at an arm's length
they lend me an impaired ear.
In the opaque darkness of the world
these frivolous gestures form
the walls that I grope for.
Like in kindergarten, there is
a celebration of life in this babble.
A luckiness that's felt
on board the ship of Columbus.
An untold promise of a new world.
Such a crew and a pleasant sea;
there is least care, if everything I say
is baseless, like what I say about everything.
And as if to mark us by numbers and
the strength of our arguments
there are stains all over the table.
Brown crescents that keep time.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

To the Seekers

Once upon a time
Wise men walked from place to place
lighting lamps in the darkest of temples

Parents, our story tellers
pass on their stories
transforming the living room
into a pre-historic cave

One story was of a local buddha
who spelt aphorisms in simple rhymes.
The sayings were beyond us
but as children
we were more interested in his miracles

He had strange powers
Levitating, predicting the future
and summoning gods in their sculpted form
were the most important ones in the abridged version.

The story ended with he going underground
in search of more knowledge and the chamber
capped with a thick concrete slab.

His birthdays are special now
as he comes alive to pronounce future
And the faithful, press their ears down
under the spell of a war-time siren.

(With inputs for editing from Cinecynic )

Saturday, February 20, 2010


How ubiquitous it is!

Like destiny, it surfaces
on the highest of stages
and laughs at the serious turn of events.
As evidence to all our movements
to our collective knowledge and stupidity
it is there to caricature and let out that guffaw.
Its rhetoric is the toughest inquisition.
There aren't many questions.
Just that laugh forcing us to rethink.
In its light, we crisscross
in search of an escape route
as our wax wings melt
into a ball of self critique.

Death in the Afternoon

On a coir cot, he rests somberly
counting the wooden beams of the ceiling
and wondering if they would crack
A smell of death hangs in the air
through the half open door
For the Red Ox in the next room
is waiting to be skinned.

Its large eyes, pools of darkness now
have wet patches around
as a signature of helplessness.
With the head bent in submission
it now awaits the arrival
of the god of death.

His wife, unborn children
and some of his dearest friends
It has carried many to the fields
With each death they inched closer
as fellow victims.

Another unmarked grave this would be
and in the solitude of early hours
he would plow through the sadness
across all of life's seasons.

(Title for this post is same as Hemingway's fine novel "Death in the Afternoon" where the death is of a matador in Spanish Bull fighting)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clock work

Different models of clocks
arranged to discipline there.
All stuck in different times
none of them show
the perfect ten past ten.
Amidst the unwound springs
and soldering guns, he sits
with a lens to his right eye
while the other scans the road.
Melodies from an old radio
do the time travel and transport him
to a quiet, away from all the bustle.
In that yogic trance he sets in motion
the stuck gears and corrects
the cracked displays.
We could watch him and construct
an anthill in our memories, he wouldn't care.
But a step into the circle of penance
his look is enough to drive us kids away.

Monday, February 8, 2010


In matters of love
I am as immature as a first kiss
My pointless thoughts follow every couple
like a shadow into the dark.
And I have weird questions
that often tend to litmus test
if it was love or just a hangup.
The result of a teenage fantasy
to make up a good story to tell
and fill in the gaping jigsaw
we all ended up as, by the end of college.

We graduated alright, but
we can't go on like this
with a void in our conscience.
So much that, we are in a constant search
for the remote signs of the soul mate.
School albums are dusted, friends of friends
contacted, lists are drawn and pictures referred to
And then we are all prepared for the plunge.

Vague stories about crushes are left hanging
ripe in the air, like the fruit yet to be.
All you have done is let them be.
These myths come to rescue now
as you meet her and say " You know
I admired you in college".

She might be the one or might not be
Might and might not be
is of a momentary intensity.
It is not a studied choice.
A blind intuition that is better than
no shoulder to rest each other on.

The distance between the two could be zero.
They could melt in each others arms
like chocolate and vanilla under the sun.
But in the journey forward
the tie up is back to back
and a lifetime to study each others eyes.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hide and Seek

The cold throne of the deposed king
lies abandoned as a protected monument.
And at its foot is the dome of the court hall
half surviving, like the stories it witnessed.
On the other side, defaced figurines greet
an empty space between them, while the ornate
pillars and beams rest on each other
like the dead of an epic battle.
The Gods' faces look eaten away by a cannibal
and like the creation, are in a state of disrepair.
There are surviving walls of a temple or a palace
and on them a graffiti about forgotten love
sketched as an attempt to piggyback immortality.

My mind tries to reconstruct the grandeur
while history plays one of its ancient games
Hide and Seek, to mourn in solitude.
I am absorbed in the moist sorrows
written on the walls while a man with three eyes
(One hanging around his neck)
interrupts to say how good I looked
beside these ruins and I let him
before I am lost in them.

I can see a girl turned to the wall
and counting time, for me to hide in the world
before she seeks me like this.

(My tribute to all those poets who walked those ruins of Kakatiya grandeur in Warangal and empathized with the stories they contained)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Small World

It was home after school
Those four odd shops I visited
and a temple once in a while
That was my world.
Big enough for the small me.
And as expected, I grew up
into a different child
spanning the wings of my mind
to unknown boundaries.
And often, I take these
nostalgic routes to fantasy
and dream of the lost world.
One that is more beautiful than
the reality it's set in.
An image of the then dull phase.

Tell me, what is beauty if it is not short lived?
The ambiguity, that it might not survive
or I would not survive the onslaught of time
gives a chance to go over and
capture whatever I can.
And this is a continuous process
as I am being erased from a side
like a blackboard
after the lessons are learnt.

(Weak imitation/inspiration derived from Wislawa Syzmborska's "The Joy of Writing")

Monday, January 25, 2010

Any questions?

"What do you want to be?"
was a natural question put to me, as a child.
But it leaves only rhetorical fumes now.
There were words then
Fresh and grand, without meaning
and a new possession always inspired
awe and admiration
among friends and foes.
So, each day I wanted a new future.
Thus it was cluttered with-
Stethoscopes, Telescopes, Periscopes
and a large collection of law books
looming behind my lawyer's desk.
There were many more but nothing
like an engineer by the day
And a poet by the night.

I came a seemingly long way into the tunnel
and now the question, what I want to be
is a difficult and hence
a useless one to ask.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A thing called love

And once again
where do we find
this thing called love?
Is it in the air?
With the struggles and revolutions
locked in our hearts.
Is it between the lines?
Like a meaning shying away
and a metaphor waiting to stun.
Is it in that music?
A mute display of affection
Instrumental language of its own.
Is it dancing along with you?
In the very room.
And dancing as if
the partner mattered less.
Is it in the compromise that you made?
Where often you go for a search.
scattering your life in a pensive ransack.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Step changes

There are steps and then
there are step changes
Steps, as I walked all across my childhood
and changes that suddenly dawned around me
like the growth rings of a tree.
Those memories, arthritic now
have slowed down, and once in a while
surface as vague flashes of intensity.
Every time I see them
in a dream or as a deja vu, I tell myself
not to lose them this time.
A longing for those innocent
one dimensional and amoebic days
pulls me into a world of sand and mud
Where half-eating and half-playing
we knew for sure, that there would be a call
when the dinner is ready, shriller than
what I get now from the micro-wave
as it clamors for my attention.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grandfather's days

Ghosts were seen quite often in his days
He spotted them regularly near the hay stack
during the time of harvest, when he kept vigil
for the wild pigs destroying the crop.
They never meant harm and were mostly impish
disturbing him before the break of the dawn
when he tried to catch some sleep.
The darkness was still dense.

These ghosts he says, are like us
Good and bad. Beautiful and ugly.
He had even heard from his friends
about ghosts repenting for their mistakes
and becoming good like in the folk lore.
After reconciliation, the humans and the ghosts
lived happily and people never minded
if the grain bags did not tally
if the food went missing
if there were odd noises
from the kitchen at an un-humanly hour.

Not to mention, there are some bad ones too
Up the hill next to the village
And under the tamarind tree towards the temple
everyone feels a little heavy, under their mistakes.

They fled, he says, with the advent of electricity
and are now found somewhere in the forests.
But he says beware during the power-cuts
Look out for them and look after them
Leave some food at the end of the day
And never mind the noises from the kitchen.

Ghosts and gods

In the mystic corners of life
we find shed skins of hope.
With its scales glowing like
the radium idols of decorative gods
we encounter what is called
A divine intervention.
A sign, an omen, a message
ratifying our state and henceforth
demanding gratification in all forms.
Like the shapes of phosphorus
(over the cremation ground)
scaring the villagers to praying
We are led to believing.
in dust, from our bones and minds
in Ghosts and Gods.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Good mourning

As a child, I used to foresee
my defeat in a chess game
and opportunely destroy
the arrangement with my paws.
I failed to imagine then
anything more dreary.
Not even global warming.
Death, somehow dwarfs us grownups
and brings out that unimaginative child.
Quickly, we would like to bring disorder
in the lives of at least a hundred others.
Beating chests is passe as mourning
breaking glass is the in thing.
Nietzsche was right, God is dead
Only it was less noticeable than the demigod's death.
Myth has it that he likes quiet farewells.

(Various triggers for this, more conspicuous one is this post)